- Thoughts for inspired living

October 28, 2008

Forgive & Forget

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:23 am

We have been urged to forgive and forget for thousands of years and I don’t think that recommendation has ever been explored deeper than the “mom and apple pie” surface.

For example, holding a grudge and forgetting are different. When we hold a grudge, we consciously hold a memory together. Forgetting, unless as a result of diminishment of mental faculties, is impossible. We can always re-member something memorable. True forgetting is giving yourself permission to unbind a memory from the emotion that keeps it in the forefront of your mind.

Take anger as an example. We can easily remember an incident that engendered anger. We can also revivify that anger by dwelling on the incident and reassembling the facts and emotions and make it real all over again. How productive is that? For some, they invite feelings into their body from many years ago that they can do nothing about now, other than to tax their mind and body. This is a time to dismember the incident.

When the incident comes to mind, immediately notice that you are having the memory. Just the impartial noticing is often enough to keep the memory from bonding with the emotion and taking on a life of its own. If you are too late to notice that there’s been a fusion of the memory and the sensation, you still have an opportunity to unbind the two by conscious interruption. It’s as basic as doing the famed technique left for us by Dr. Dave Dobson.

  1. Notice you’re having the thought.
  2. Interrupt the thought with a deep breath and sigh it out.
  3. Wonder what you could think about or do right now that would be more productive than what you are doing.
  4. Roll your eyes in a circle to access more areas of your memory which helps dilute the current memory and provides you with more options.

Forgiving is nothing a human being is consciously capable of, no more than you can consciously change your mind about a deeply held belief. The emotion has to get sucked out of that belief before a new way of thinking can enter on its own.

The key to forgiveness showing up in your life is to have a willingness to have it show up. It’s the willingness that opens the door for forgiveness to come visit us. Conscious forgiveness (lip service) is an imitation of the real thing. Real forgiveness is something you don’t talk yourself into, but feel. The only way to grease the skid for forgiveness to move in your direction is to have a willingness for it to come your way.

You’ll never have room for willingness to enter your awareness when holding together a grudge.

So, forgive and forget are tied together. If you don’t give yourself the opportunity to unbind a memory and its emotional component, you will never experience the willingness necessary for forgiveness to come visit.

So the ancient maxim is really backwards. The workable solution to peace of mind is to forget and forgive.

All the best,


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